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How To Play Craps for Beginners (August 2023)

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You've probably seen people having a roll of the dice in the streets. Craps is played in the same way- with a roll of a pair of dice. Craps is a universal game of dice mostly enjoyed in online casinos as well as land-based platforms. The game is known as street craps when played in a different setting from a casino's.

It's an exhilarating and cliff-hanging game. You roll the dice, and trust lady luck dines with you at the craps table. If you've ever been to any offline casino, you've seen crowds celebrating when the dice rolls in their favor. Craps is that thrilling.

It's a globally accepted game, with its fame rising exponentially in the 21st century. Initially, players had to frequent their best land casinos to enjoy the game. In this modern era, the game is at your disposal with just the tap of a button. There are over 1000 online casinos worldwide offering the iconic craps game. Hence, it will be daunting and confusing for novice players to get hold of the best craps casinos.

We've taken the liberty of recommending only the top-of-the-pile platforms to rev up your gaming experience while having fun. Read on to discover more.

A Brief History of Craps

Although the origin of craps isn't precise, it's believed it was invented by the military legion of the Roman Empire. In the beginning, more than 1000 years ago, it was known as Hazard. Hazard was a dice game, and the dice were cut out from bones into cube-like structures. That's why you'll hear antique gamblers say “roll the bones” when rolling the craps dice.

Years later, Hazard's appeal among aristocrats and Old English European elites became immense. Its popularity increased rapidly, and it was quickly adopted into gambling houses. Fast forward, Hazard reaches France and gets the name ‘Crabs.' The game then spreads to North America and Louisiana via French settlers. The game then morphed into one of the best games being played at casinos worldwide.

In the 19th century, dice maker John H. Winn, or the ‘Father of Modern Craps,' upped the game's ante. He engineered the ‘Don't Pass Bet‘ and crafted the modern craps table design we see today. The ‘Don't Pass Bet' up to date allows players to wager for and against the dice thrower.

The Craps Modern Shift

Prior to the invention of online casinos, craps was being played at physical gambling houses or even in the streets. It was fun, and many people would gather to see how the game played out. The 1990s saw the emergence of electronic machines, and, as expected, craps also was integrated into online casinos.

Gamblers love the game since it's easy to play, and the rules are simple, even for amateur players. In addition, our recommended online casinos provide all the playing rules of the game. So, you can learn while at it. Furthermore, these casinos will allow you to practice playing the game's demo models to familiarize yourself with the rules. There are different bet types you can wager on with lucrative odds that promise huge payouts. As of now, craps is at the helm of online gambling.

That's because you can play anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. You can use multiple devices such as phones, PC, and tablets.

The Basics of Playing Craps

Theoretically, playing craps involves just rolling the pair of dice. Understanding the craps table layout is the hard part, especially for beginners. But worry not, we'll explain all the necessities of the game and how to play craps online.

As stated earlier, craps is a dice game, and basically, you'll need to bet on the result of the roll of the pair of dice. The dice will fall and generate different results each time. That's why the craps table felt has many betting fields. Interestingly, the other bets available have specific odds, and some with no house edge at all!

In a nutshell, in craps, the main objective is precisely to predict the dice roll result. That is, you bet on the dice combination you think will be rolled each time.

The Craps Table

Depending on the casino, a craps table could be 12ft long, but you can find smaller tables. The table can hold up to 16 players, and unlike blackjack tables, players here do not sit while playing. Smaller craps tables have up to 8 players. At physical casinos, there are casino employees who oversee the flow of the game. They include:

  1. The Box person– They are responsible for exchanging player's cash into playing chips. The person also oversees the dealers and makes sure the game is running effortlessly.
  2. The Stickman– Their role is always to announce the dice outcomes. They use a curved stick to collect the pair of dice while moving them around shooters.
  3. The Shooter– This is the person rolling the dice. In craps, all players get to shoot or roll the dice. The dice also moves clockwise in the table among all players come, shooters.
  4. The Base Dealers– At a craps table, there are two dealers on each side of the Boxman. They collect all losing bets and payout to all winners at the table. Also, they can place hard-to-reach bets on behalf of players.

However, when playing at any Real Money Online Craps, things are simple. So, don't panic. The rules are similar, and the difference is that there is no other table personnel, and you're the shooter. You only need to place your preferred bets by clicking on the ideal spot on the craps felt.

Craps: How to Play and Rules

A round in a craps table begins by players placing bets on the dice outcome before the shooter rolls the dice. You can wager for the shooter or against the shooter. Choose the ‘pass line bet' and the ‘don't pass line bet' to wager for and against the shooter, respectively.

As with any table game, you'll need to exchange your cash for playing chips at the cashier's section of the casino. At offline casinos, there's someone at the craps table responsible for that. The chips are of different colors with various value denominations. However, the color chip values might change depending on the casino.

Crucial Craps Terminologies

  1. The Puck– It's a round disk with ‘on' and ‘off' buttons. Before establishing the shooter's point, it's usually ‘off.' It's then turned on when the point is determined.
  2. The Come-out roll– This is the shooter's first dice roll at the table.
  3. A Natural– It's a come-out roll with an outcome of 7 or 11, which wins automatically. Pass line bets win while the don't pass line bets lose.
  4. Wrong Bettors– These are players who bet against the shooter.
  5. Point Numbers– These are come-out roll dice outcomes that are not 7 or 11. They include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. In some casinos, rolling a 2 or 12 may be considered a push or tie. However, that depends on the casino's craps table rules.

The Rules

As stated before, craps is a game of chance, and you wager by predicting the dice roll result. There are two common bet types among craps players, and they have different rules attached to them. To understand playing craps, you'll need to understand these basic rules associated with the bet types.

A round at a craps table kicks off with a come-out roll. In the come-out roll, you'll have two wagering options with all the basic rules of playing the game. The two options include the don't pass line and pass line bets.

Pass Line Bet

This is the most straightforward and typical bet among craps players. After placing your bet, the shooter will roll the dice and have one of the following outcomes.

  1. When the result is a 7 or 11, all the pass line bet players automatically win and get paid. The game ends, and another round begins with a new shooter.
  2. If the outcome is a 3, 2, or 12, all the don't pass line bet players lose. Similarly, the game ends, and a new round commences with a fresh shooter and come-out roll.
  3. In case the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, players don't lose or win their bets, and a point is established. The pluck is turned ON, and the game shifts as explained below.

The Point

A point will be established if the shooter rolls one of the above-stated numbers. The game gets more thrilling, and it's said you're playing the point. Let's say, for example, that 5 was the come-out roll outcome.

The dealer will then change the pluck from ‘off' to ‘on' at the table on the number 5. If you make a pass line wager on the come-out roll, the following will happen:

  1. Your stake on the pass line bet survives.
  2. If the point (5) is rolled first, pass line bets win. The objective is to roll a 5 before a 7. Therefore, all pass line bets lose when a 7 is rolled first, in our case, before the five.
  3. The shooter will roll again if they roll a different number from the established point. If they roll a 7, the game ends. If they don't, they will roll until they roll a 7 or the point (5).

Don't Pass Bet

The don't pass line bet is a wager against the shooter- a familiar wager for wrong bettors. The bet has four outcomes.

  1. When the dice roll total result is a 7 or 11, all don't pass line bets are lost. The house/casino gathers all losing bets.
  2. If the outcome is a 2 or 3, all don't pass line bets win.
  3. A 12 dice roll result means it's a push, and your bet is returned.
  4. No one loses or wins if the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A point is then established, and the game continues as explained above.

Now you know the basic rules of playing craps. They aren't hard, are they? The table might look complicated, but the rules are straightforward. To play craps online and offline, you need to grasp the above bet types before learning other wagering options.

The Different Craps Bet Types

As discussed earlier in this article, the pass line and the don't pass bets are the most popular among beginners. That's because these bets are simple and have better odds compared to other wagering alternatives. You'll find these options on the outer side of the craps table vis a vee others in the middle.

Therefore, apart from the pass line and don't pass line bets, we have others, they include:

  1. Come bet– This wager is similar to the pass line bet except that you place a ‘come bet' after establishing a point and after a come-out roll. A roll of 7 or 11 wins you the bet. Consequently, if any craps numbers (2, 3, or 12) are rolled, you lose.

If any other different number is rolled, it becomes the ‘come-point.' If your point (5, 4, 6, 9, 8, or 10) is rolled before a 7, you automatically win. You wager by placing your chips on the ‘Come line' area, at the center of the craps table.

  1. Don't come bet– The bet is the opposite of the come bet and is similar to the don't pass line bet. The wager is made after the come-out roll also. You lose the bet on a roll of 7 or 11. On the contrary, you win if a 2 or 3 is rolled. A roll of 12 is treated as a tie or push, and no one wins or loses. You get your bets back.

You lose if your come-point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) is rolled before a 7. Consequently, if a 7 is rolled before the come-point, you win. You wager by placing your chips on the ‘Don't Come line' area of the craps table.

  1. Odds bet– You can make this wager to compliment all of the bet types mentioned above. An odds bet placed on the pass line and come bet is known as ‘taking odds.' On the other hand, an odds bet placed on the don't pass line and don't come bet is known as ‘laying odds.'

However, you must have a matching don't pass/pass or a don't come/come bet in play to lay or take odds. In addition, these bets lose and win in a similar fashion to the come and pass wagers. These are the best bets in craps since they have the best odds on the table with a 0% house edge. You also can stake up to 5 times your corresponding come/don't come or pass/don't pass bets.

  1. Place bets– You can place these types of bets after a come-out roll. You can wager on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. If a 7 is made before the number you've chosen, you lose. You win if your number is rolled before a 7.

For novice craps players, these are the standard bets you can make while playing craps. Nonetheless, there are many other bet options available during the game should you choose to play them.

Craps Odds and Payouts

Now you can rub shoulders with masters in the art of playing craps since you know all the rules. You only need to grasp the odds and payouts to understand what you expect to win after wagering. We'll explain all the discussed bet options with their odds, house edge, and payouts in a table format.

Type of BetActual/True OddsOdds Paid/PayoutHouse edge
Pass Line and Come Bets251: 244Even money (1: 1)1.414%
Don’t Pass & Don’t Come Bets976: 949Even money (1: 1)1.402%
Pass Line Odds and Come Bet Odds (Taking Odds)
Numbers 4 and 102: 12: 10%
Numbers 6 and 86: 56: 50%
Numbers 5 and 93: 23: 20%
Don't Pass Line Odds and Don't Come Bet Odds (Laying odds)
Numerals 4 and 101: 21: 20%
Numerals 6 and 85: 65: 60%
Numerals 5 and 92: 32: 30%
Place Bets
Numbers 4 and 102: 19: 56.67%
Numbers 6 and 86: 57: 64%
Numbers 5 and 93: 27: 51.52%

Where to Play for USA Players

We recommend these casinos:

Ignition Casino – Our current favorite for players from the USA or Australia. Ignition casino offers two variants of the game – classic craps and craps. The games are supplied by recognized game developers such as Revolver Gaming and RTG. These games have high-definition video graphics that allow gaming across multiple devices. More importantly, this casino has some of the fastest payouts of winnings on the planet, along with responsive 24/7 customer service.

Read our Ignition Casino Review or visit Ignition Casino.

Wild Casino – This is an online casino that caters to USA players and offers responsive customer service, top notch software including an authentic craps experience, as well as a safe gaming experience from a trusted leading in the space. There's a generous bonus for all new players, and a myriad of deposit and speedy cashout options.

Read our Wild Casino Review or visit Wild Casino.

Cafe Casino – Established in 2020, Cafe Casino is a relative newcomer to the gaming scene but they have established an impeccable reputation amongst players for offering state of the art games along with responsive customer support, and fast payouts. The craps game on offer is super realistic and they offer the option for free practice play. New players can of course claim a generous sign-up bonus, and they offer multiple deposit options including by Bitcoin.

Read our Cafe Casino Review or visit Cafe Casino.

Where to Play for International Players

For readers from other jurisdictions we have compiled the following guides:

Australia Online Craps

Canada Online Craps

India Online Craps

New Zealand Online Craps

South Africa Online Craps

UK Online Craps

USA Online Craps


Craps has many bet types, with some having sick odds that can win you crazy amounts of cash. Even though no strategy assures perfect dice results, you can increase your bankroll using proved techniques. So, with tons of bets, you have multiple betting options. Therefore, you should choose the best that fits your gaming style.

Although the craps table may look challenging to decipher, craps is one of the easiest table games at a casino. More so, with our easy-to-understand guidelines, playing craps couldn't be more straightforward. Thus, sign up at our recommended online casinos and immerse yourself in the craps entertainment.

Yes, all of the casinos that we recommend offer the option to play craps for free. You can then practice playing until you are ready to play for real money.

Players take turns rolling two dices, the person who is responsible for throwing the dice is called the "shooter".

This is the most common type of bet, when a player places a Pass Line bet, the player is betting with the dice. The goal is that either a 7 or an 11 will be the "come out" roll (first number rolled).  If this happens the player automatically doubles their money.

If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, this establishes a "point." This gives the player a second chance at winning. The player needs to then shoot the dice and land the identical number in order to win and double their bet. If a 7 is rolled then the player loses in what is called a "sevens out".

If the number rolled is a 2, 3, or 12 (called Craps), the player instantly loses the bet.

The house edge is 1.41%.

The Don't Pass bet is essentially betting against the dice and this is the complete opposite of Pass Line bets.

The player is hoping for a for a 2, 3, or 12 to be rolled on the initial come out roll, if this happens the player automatically doubles their money.

If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, this establishes a "point." This gives the player a second chance at winning. Unlike the "Pass Line Bet", the player is hoping that the identical number will not be rolled again, if the identical number rolls the player loses. If the 7 comes up first the player automatically wins the bet.

The house edge is 1.41%.

Place bets is a player is betting that a specific number will be rolled before the 7 is rolled. The player can choose to roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

Number 4 or 10

Payouts: 9 to 5

House edge: 6.67%

Number 5 or 9

Payouts: 7 to 5

House edge: 4%

Number 6 or 8

Payouts: 7 to 6

House edge: 1.52%

These are bets when the player is hoping for the roll of 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Number 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11

Payout: 1 to 1 (No money is won or lost).

Number 2

Payout: 2 to 1.

Number 12

Payout: 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 (depending on the casino).

Number 5, 6, 7, or 8

Player automatically loses bet.

Field bets offer the casino a 5.56% house edge.

This is when the player bets that the two numbers that roll on the dices will be identical. For example: 3s on both dices, or 4s on both dices.

The only winning combinations can be: 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Number 2:

Payout: 35 to 1

House Edge: 13.89%

Numbers 4 or 10

Payout: 8 to 1

House Edge: 11.11%,

Numbers 6 or 8

Payout 10 to 1

House Edge:  9.09%

This is simply rolling a seven after a point has previously been established. In some cases this may lose a bet "pass line bet" or may may win a bet "don't pass bet".

When a player wins they have the option of collecting their winnings, or they can keep the winnings on the table to further double the bet in what is called "pressing your bet".

Roll bets is when players bets on a single roll for a specific number.

Number 2 or 12:

Payouts: 30 to 1

House Edge: 13.89%

Number 3 or 11:

Payouts: 15 to 1

House Edge: 11.11%

Number 7: 

Payout is: 4 to 1

House Edge is:  11.11%.


Players have the option of placing this bet after a point on the Pass Line has been rolled. The rules are then identical to a Pass Line Bet.

Numbers 4 or 10

Payout: 1:2

House Edge: 2.44%

Numbers 5 or 9

Payout: 2 to 3

House Edge: 3.23%

Numbers 6 or 8

Payout: 5 to 6

House Edge: 4%

House Edge: 1.41%


Players have the option of placing this bet after a point on the Pass Line has been rolled. This is the reverse of a "Come Bet", and is very similar to the "Don't Pass Bet".

Numbers 4 or 10

Payout: 1:2

House Edge: 2.44%

Numbers 5 or 9

Payout: 2 to 3

House Edge: 3.23%

Numbers 6 or 8

Payout: 5 to 6

House Edge: 4%

Stephany loves gaming, she is especially fond of bingo games, blackjack, slot machines, and old school Nintendo. She has a special place in her heart for Sega and online poker.

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